Dream 9 exposing horrifying conditions in immigration detention

8 members of the Dream 9 in graduation gowns and caps

8 members of the Dream 9 (Credit: Steve Pavey/One Horizon Institute via Colorlines)

Last week, the Dream 9 crossed the border from Mexico into the United States in broad daylight by a border patrol station in Nogales. Their intention was to infiltrate and organize the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona, as well as to petition to return to their longtime homes in the United States on the grounds of humanitarian parole.

The action has grown into a hunger strike to protest the conditions at Eloy, a detention center that removes more than 1,000 people from the United States daily. The activists claim that their phone use was unfairly restricted and six were placed in solitary confinement. As of yesterday morning, two of these activists have been in complete isolation for over four days, including Lulu Martinez, an undocumented and queer activist who came to the United States when she was 3 years old. It’s important to remember here that solitary confinement for any significant period of time, though common, is torture.

It appears that their requests for humanitarian parole may have been denied, and they are now seeking asylum based on “credible fear” of persecution should they return home. You can learn more about the Dream 9 and their actions at the NIYA website, and you can sign a petition asking the President and the Office of General Counsel to grant parole, and show your support for the Dream 9, here.

New York, NY

Verónica Bayetti Flores has spent the last years of her life living and breathing reproductive justice. She has led national policy and movement building work on the intersections of immigrants' rights, health care access, young parenthood, and LGBTQ liberation, and has worked to increase access to contraception and abortion, fought for paid sick leave, and demanded access to safe public space for queer youth of color. In 2008 Verónica obtained her Master’s degree in the Sexuality and Health program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She loves cooking, making art, listening to music, and thinking about the ways art forms traditionally seen as feminine are valued and devalued. In addition to writing for Feministing, she is currently spending most of her time doing policy work to reduce the harms of LGBTQ youth of color's interactions with the police and making sure abortion care is accessible to all regardless of their income.

Verónica is a queer immigrant writer, activist, and rabble-rouser.

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